Is There a fix for CD Pin-holes (CD Rot)


I have several early CD's (1984 to 86) with pinholes and some pitting on the label side. Mostly German pressings, many made by PDO. They all have played fine until I bought some early discs with the silver mould area. Pinholes in the center ring cause disks to spin loudly in the transport and sometimes cause read errors.

I've read about the deterioration of CD's; haven't seen any with discolouration (CD rot). Is there anyway to preserve the many CD's in my collection so that discs will continue to play?
And please don't suggest that I give up and burn the discs to a server. I like the physical medium and many of my discs are collectables.

 

lowrider57
What I would try if I were you is to get hold of DB Poweramp software and copy the discs that you can and make new discs with high quality blank discs and save what you can because you know they are only going to get worse so the sooner the better.
My CD collection is meager but I'm also at a point where I prefer physical media. I stream and rip too but I want to have my CDs around as long as possible.

I'm assuming that like most everything else that oxygen, heat and UV light are the enemy. I guess the best you can do is to keep them in the dark and in a climate controlled area. What else could you do? Keep them out of the car maybe. 

Of course this would be a prime opportunity for the enterprising among us to take advantage of the propensity for audiophiles to spend large amounts of money and make a "CD Vault" that controls for all sorts of real and imagined forces that harm CDs. :-)
Thanks n80, will take a look at that article.

@jim204, that's the kind of info I need, thanks.
I've ripped music files to my Mac using XLD, but have never burned a bit perfect file to a new disc.

Is there any free software available for Mac?

I have burned 16/44 files from iTunes and they never sounded as good as the original.

I have had good luck ripping damaged cd's to my Mac's hard drive in iTunes using the lowest speed setting and then burning a new disc with a quality outboard CD-RW drive and good quality CD-R's. I like to use an old Firewire LaCie Porsche Design drive that's built like a tank compared to the flimsy drives Apple sells now. If I'm feeling really OCD, I'll power the LaCie's wall wart with my PS Audio power regenerator. For the best quality possible, spend about $2 US per disc and buy MAM-A gold CD-R's https://www.mediasupply.com/mamgold.html . 
I'm no expert here but I'd rip in XLD to a file on the desktop, not iTunes, and then just burn directly from that file from the finder or Disk Utility.

I do not know if bypassing iTunes helps, but it can't hurt.
There are discussions about iTunes vs. XLD for ripping at ww.computer audiophile's website. As is often the case with all things audio, there seems to be little to no consensus about which is better. I'd make no claim to expertise in these matters myself.
I highly recommend dbPoweramp for ripping and burning runs about $35 and works fantastically well.
 CloneCD it makes exact 1:1 copies but you will need to find a windows computer. I used it years ago then it was pulled because of EU copyright but it can be bought again.  It has a free trial period. 
XLD is a ripping software, very good for loading CDs onto a hard drive. To then burn a CDR I’ve tried a couple of Mac friendly Writing/Burning programs, but there’s no easy way to manage the files. It’s very tedious.
As stated earlier, using XLD into iTunes hasn’t resulted in high SQ CDs. I looked at the latest dbPoweramp and it now only supports Windows.
I’m ok with buying rip/write software for Mac as long as it’s easy to use. Don’t want to make a big production out of this.

There aren’t a great number of damaged CDs. This came about from my quest to acquire discs of my favorite albums and bands at the highest quality Redbook available. Spent a lot of time on Steve Hoffman to research this. I put together a good CD setup and have many rare early and 1st issues which sound spectacular. Lots of German and Japanese Redbook that have holographic and organic sonics.
I replaced all my remastered and poor quality CDs with the best I could find on the used market. As a result, pin holes on discs of unknown provenance.
I have complete sets of German and Japanese (with OBI) Zeppelin and Jimi. Also found high quality Pink Floyd, complete Jeff Beck, Billy Cobham, Pat Metheny, multiple Kate Bush CDs and vinyl, just to name a few.

My classical collection is pretty vast and I haven’t seen any defects.
I do have downloads and rips on my Mac and HD, but that’s not fun for me. I’m a collector.

I am not very familiar with Mac but what it seems what you want to do is Clone the CD , not sure if there is any software for Mac that can do it. Using CloneCD is very easy, insert CD to be cloned it makes an image of the CD then insert blank CD and it writes the exact image that's it.  It doesn"t do one track converting to something then you burn that it does the whole CD as one image. Instead of looking for burning programs see if there is a program that will clone with a Mac. 
Since you have a lot of stuff from other countries you will need to make sure the program isn't inhibited by Digital Rights Management restrictions. Might not matter but something to be aware of. 
If the holes are in the silver ring around the spindle hole, you can remove the entire silver layer with a Dremel tool. In fact, all silver rings on CDs that have them should be removed with a Dremel tool for noticeably better sound. Easy as pie 🥧
@geoffkait ,
You once warned me about the problems with silver ring CDs.
  
Digital Rights Management restrictions... 

As far as the law, I think it's legal to make copies for personal use if I keep the original.

That's not the problem. Some software will not clone CD's that have certain region restrictions on them. I doubt it would be a problem with your audio CD's just something to be aware of if you can find  cloning software. 
If I am ripping my music to a hard drive I use dbpoweramp but when I want an exact copy of a CD I clone them. I also clone my hard drives as a backup. 
djones51
Some software will not clone CD's that have certain region restrictions on them.
Region restrictions are possible on DVDs, but I don't think that capability is part of the CD standard.
CloneCD and Nero are Windows only. Roxio Toast for Mac has been around a long time, but expensive.


DRM was used on some CD's back in the 90's, perhaps up to 2003? Sony mostly and it isn't used anymore on CD's, of course iTunes still uses DRM.
You were trying to get as close to the  original as possible and cloning is the only way I know, there could be better ways I am no expert.  Might get some ideas from one of the computer forums.
Thanks for the comments, everybody.

@djones51, true cloning would be the best quality. I've seen it done with professional gear at a video facility. Also, high quality CDR's are used.


Anybody have experience using a CD mat such as this...
https://www.musicdirect.com/vibration-control/millennium-carbon-fiber-cd-mat

My damaged CDs play fine thru my PS Audio PWT since it corrects read errors. The discs that wont play have the pinholes in the silver center ring.

I have no experience with this program myself, but this receives mention in computer audio forums as an alternative to toast at a lower cost ($32.00.) Toast is on sale for $70 at present. I'd used Toast quite a bit with good results in the past.
http://www.nticorp.com/NTI-Dragon-Burn-4.html
Thanks everyone but I've found my answer.
Regarding pinholes:
Pinholes are caused by contaminates (dust particles usually) on the surface during metallization during manufacturing prior to sealing the edges. The metallization layer does not adhere at that given spot. Hence the appearance of a pinhole. However, despite appearing to be clear at that spot, there is still a lot of material around the pinhole that reflects the laser, combined with the error correction robustness, that 99+% of the time has no effect on sound or data reading.

Pinholes are sealed in at manufacturing and do not or cannot grow. Nothing to worry about. It either plays from new or doesn't.
  You can see through, but they are just holes in the metal layer, not real holes.
Excerpt from this forum...
http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/what-exactly-causes-pinholes-on-cds.637893/

Only two CDs wouldn't play probably due to pitting on the silver center ring (it sounded like the disk was spinning w/o reading).

I own CDs I bought in the mid 1980's. Use them. Never a problem with the label side going bad. I would NEVER apply any product to add on top of the label side. First off, you might never be able to remove it. And IMO how do you KNOW the glue on the added thing is not going to damage the surface all by itself after a few years???PLUS the fact some added layers cause problems in some CD players, and actually ruin the CD player...The only CDs with problems of the data layer covering peeling or corroding.. had them from day one. And those are rare
Plus I own plenty of CDs with the center area also covered with the reflective material.. (Seems a lot of early Classical CDs had that feature) Never a problem with any playback.
@elizabeth , all good comments.
The info on the website states that the shields are a film that adheres to the CD label, no adhesives. It’s as thin as plastic wrap for food.
I tried Herbies CD mat and it got stuck inside my CDP, so I’m very cautious about what slides into the tray/transport. In any event, I’d like to try the LAST CD cleaner instead of my homemade concoction.

Also to your point, I’m leery of possibly ruining the label on a valuable early release CD.
Good to hear that you’ve never had any peeling of the label, that is reassuring.

And I have many CDs with the silver mould center, the first generation had them. BYW, on the first release collectors market they fetch a higher price. The only ones that won’t track have pitting (like corrosion) on the center area that is raised on the surface. Maybe it affects laser reflections? Or maybe they interfere with the clamping of the disc in the transport. I realise now the tracking errors have nothing to do with the pinholes.

And as stated in the Hoffman thread, only certain pressing plants like PDO had the pinhole problem.
I have quite a few early PDO CDs, and I’ve also noticed all my discs with pinholes come from Germany.

I respect your views and experience in this hobby, so thanks.